Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Re: Ehlonna and Sheldomar (still long)

Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 22:53:26 +1200
From: Craig & Julie
Subject: Re: Ehlonna and Sheldomar (still long)

>Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 13:12:55 GMT
>From: Paul Looby
>Subject: Re: Ehlonna and Sheldomar (still long)
>>So, you're postulating a seasonal "let's all go to the hills" for the
>>entire Sheldomar valley? :-)
>Yeah why not - load up granny and the kids on a cart and hit the road! :=
>No seriously - if you want to put seasonal floods in - then meltwater f=
>the Lortmils in spring is the way to do it. I don't have the map in fron=
t of
>me - but IIRC the Sheldomar has a lot of tributaries sourced in the
>mountains which will catch meltwater runoff in spring.
>The magnitude of the effect downstream is another question. The topology=
>the river valley and the soil types there would be big factors I think (=
>being a geographer). It might not be an all out head for the hills - but
>there probably would be some seasonal flooding.
>That's my take on it - anyone want to add to, subtract from or just plai=
>napalm this?
>> What's the average height of the Lortmils? They are geologically old a=
>> weathered so I'd say not so high (maybe 1000 metres with the odd high=
>> peak) so with the exception of a few months (at most over winter) pro=
>> don't get snow very often, so probably not too much run off in spring.
>Pat E wrote:=20
>The Appalacians are old as well, but the presidentials, and green mounta=
>(NH, and VT) get a TON of snow, and contribute to spring flooding along =
>rivers (such as the Saco river, east of Mt. Washington).
While Paul Wrote:=20
>Still if you look at places like the mountains of central Spain and sout=
>Italy - they get snow in winter. Not a whole lot, but enough to cause fl=

Both these examples are in the 40-45 latitudes (approximately the same as the lands of Iuz, while the Lortmils are closer to 30 degrees lat (Shanghai, Israel, Libya). I'm not saying that these lats. don't get snow, they do but in my interpretation of the Lortmils they don't get a lot of snow, not enough anyway to cause spring melt problems in the Sheldomar basin. I have them as similar to my local hills, they get the odd dump of snow over the winter but it seldom lasts more than a day or so, sometimes a week and it doesn't cause too many problems, there is some flooding but
that's mainly due to the rain at lower altitudes than snow. I don't see winter melt as being too much of a problem in the Lortmils. The rivers would flood occasionally but this is probably more due to rainfall than snow melt.

I have the snow line ending further north, maybe somewhere in Furyondy with falls infrequent further South.

>>The Sheldomar starts in Rushmoor and again I don't see this as a major
>>cause of spring run off, it lacks a big Mt catchment to really get a lo=
t of
>>spring melt. The Javan on the other hand probably floods a lot with tho=
>>Mt tributaries flowing down from the Crystalmists!
>Agreed on the Javan. Doesn't the Sheldomar have three or four tributarie=
>sourced in the Lortmils though?=20

Yep, but the Lortmils are a lot lower than the Crystalmists. I'd equate the Javan more in line with the Ganges as its headwaters are in the Flanaesses equivelant of the Himalayas, so I'd see seasonal flooding as being quite a problem in that valley, not so much in the Sheldomar one- well at least not caused by snows. I'd have spring rains causing floods more than snow melt in the Sheldomar Basin, but that's just me.

>That's how I see them as well. Wide dry grasslands - rain perhaps in spr=
>and winter (?).
>>The Uleks, which I've never really developed, I'd say would again be
>>something similar - perhaps like parts of Victoria or South Australia, =
>>for wheat & vineyards. Intensive farming along the river valleys, pator=
>>sheep farming in the drier uplands.
>I'd go with that - but I also see occasional floods in springtime. The
>rivers might not overflow every year - but every so often they will,
>especially with a particularly wet spring after a hard winter.

Agreed. actually I've just checked my notes on Keoland & found that I've put a reasonable amount of emphasis on spring floods, so may have to reverse my argument :)Oops.


Probably better you didn't:)
My geography degree has only been good for writing up countries for my AD&D campaigns!

BTW here in my take on the climate of the region, based on my incomplete write up of Keoland.

Keoland enjoys a temperate, Mediterranean style climate. Summers tend to be long, hot, dry and dusty with the temperatures often reaching into the mid to high thirties (Celsius). Winters tend to be mild with the temperature seldom dipping below freezing, except in the northern provinces.

The climate is driest in the central and western regions; areas close to the two main river valleys, the Sheldomar and the Javan, use irrigation and canals to bring water to the crops during the driest months. Gradsul and the southern coast has the highest annual rainfall. In most areas precipitation occurs mainly during the spring months when the moisture heavy south-easterly winds sweep in from the Azure Sea bringing the rains which replenishes and nourishes the soil. Summer is dry often bringing droughts especially to the inland regions. In both spring and autumn the plains are swept by fierce thunderstorms. Cumuli-nimbus clouds tower up into the stratosphere, bringing heavy rains and sometimes even tornados.

Keoland's climate is due both to its geographic location and the prevailing long term synoptic weather patterns in Greyhawk. In the winter months the prevailing winds in the Flanaess come from the north-east, sweeping down across the central kingdoms into Keoland, bringing snow to many of the more northerly kingdoms but having spent most of their force by the time they reach the Lortmils they bring little more than cold dry winds, with little or no rain to Keoland. However they do deposit some snow on the higher peaks of the Lortmil Mountains and bring frosts and cold temperatures to the northern provinces of the kingdom.

In spring the south east trade winds arrive, blowing in from the Solnor Ocean and Azure Sea and pushing the winter winds back northward. The south easterlies are warm and moisture laiden and as they meet the cold dry northerly winds they bring rain to the lands. These spring fronts bring heavy rains to Keoland and the other nations of the Sheldomar Valley for about a month during Planting but as quickly as they arrive the rains depart and the long hot summer begins.

As well as having heavier rainfall the coastal regions are also more humid than the central and northern provinces, due to the influence of the Azure Sea. Another feature of the climate of Keoland is the hot, dry Fohn wind, called the Dragon's Breathe by locals, that blows in from the Sea of Dust beyond the Crystalmist Mountains. This super-dry wind dries the land, sucking the last of the moisture out of the air as it blows down from the high mountain valleys. The Dragon's Breathe (Note: I have to come up with a better name than that one day:) brings high winds, dust clouds and scorching temperatures to Keoland during summer.

Keoland's climate has a definite north-south and east to west gradient. The central and northern regions tend to be both hottest and driest during the summer months and the coolest during winter as they are furthest from the moderating influences of the Azure Sea and so have the greatest extremes in temperature. Summers tend to be coolest in the Good Hills where the higher elevation brings cooler temperatures. During winter these hills sometimes get a sprinkling of snow but it seldom remains for more than a day or two

Keoland is a large kingdom in the South West portion of the Flanaess. The
Rushmoors form the nominal western boundary of the kingdom while in Azure Sea, some 600 miles south of these marshes form the southern boundary. To the east the mighty Sheldomar River is the kingdoms eastern border while the Javan River bounds it to the west. In the far north western corner of the kingdom the most recent acquisition to the lands, the County of Javan lies on the western shore of the Javan and this province stretches as far west as the Stark Mounds.

Most of the kingdom lies within the Sheldomar River Basin and consists of a huge plain that stretches from Gradsul in the South to the Thornwood, the capital of Bissel far to the north, a distance of some 1,000 miles.

The country generally slopes from west to east slowly rising in elevation the further west one travels. The vast plains of Keoland barely rise more than 300' in height from the Sheldomar River to the foot hills of the Good Hills, some 250 miles further west. These highlands are the only hills of any note in Keoland, and reach a peak of some 1500 feet above sea level. They are named the Good Hills for they are both fertile and have a favourable climate for growing crops and for orchards as well. Apples, pears, apricots, peaches, olives and even some citrus fruits are all grown in the valleys and slopes of the Good Hills. Beyond the hills the land falls away sharply as the hills drop down the Javan River Valley.

The most fertile soils are found closest to the Javan and Sheldomar River's where the annual floods deposits alluvial material that supplies the sustenance for the regions cops. The further north and west one travels from the Sheldomar the drier and stonier the soils get and the less suitable they become for arable farming. Instead the northern and central areas tend to rely more upon the raising of livestock, especially sheep and goats, for their livelihood.

Because the richest soils tend to be located nearest the Sheldomar Valley it isn't surprising to find that the majority of the kingdom's population live near this vital waterway, in fact more than 60% of the population live within 100 miles of the Sheldomar river, in the three main provinces of Gradsul, Sheldomar and Middlemarch. Population density is lessens in the central and western areas of the these provinces. The least populated provinces are in the far northern borderland provinces of (Javan, Rushmoor and Northmarch as well as the Southern Marches which lie between Dreadwood and the Azure Sea. The cooler, more temperate climate of the Good Hills, with its fertile soils, is also a favourable place to live so this region tends to be quite densely settled as well.


Craig Courtis

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